2 min read

What You Need To Be A Great Tester

A successful tester is judgemental. He/She likes to break things to see what's inside. This is the absolute quality that would decide if you would be successful in your career.
What You Need To Be A Great Tester

I'm a Tester, that is the primary function I do. I have an inquisitive nature to see the 'what if' side of everything. Be it a mobile device or Television to test it out and see how it performs in different scenarios.


we onboarded a bunch of fresh graduates, all postgraduates in computer science from reputed colleges, to my team. I being the head of the organization decided to visit them. They were on a different floor undergoing induction. During my conversations, it seemed to me that some of them were not happy. They didn't seem right, they were not happy that after the arduous studies they landed a job.

Again Inquisitive nature, I started indulging in more and more conversations until they felt comfortable to open up.

Boy: I have scored high marks and I don't know why I am assigned to Testing!
Girl: What my career will be because I'm into testing and not development!

I wanted to understand more about the concerns and lend my ears to them. So basically they are good in programming, probably half a dozen languages. They feel that they are better suited to do development work than to do testing. I started talking to them about the development work that we do in testing. Automation is in the heart of all things that we do. We create repetitive models to do effective testing of all the products that are released after testing. And the benefits of being a tester where you get to test things while you still can engage in development work on what they test.

They were still worried. To be frank I was annoyed a bit as well.

I gave them my word that we will try this out for a couple of months and if it doesn't work out, we'll move them into the development team. Nothing is lost was the confidence I wanted to give them. They started working on one of the most interesting projects I had in my group.

I left.

A year passed...

These two kids are stars in their own accord within the testing team!

They had submitted numerous innovative ideas to the organization. They mastered the python based automation framework that I instilled with the teams (modernization of all stacks). They were finding dozens of defects in the software week after week.

COVID had made us all work from home and one day I called them and asked if they still wanted to move to development and both of them refused. Apparently, both of them are enjoying the job and they no more wanted to move to development. They were feeling the joy of being successful in what they do.

It's a happy story but not all stories end up like this.

Testing demands special skills that are not technology-oriented. Technology and programming can be taught to anyone, with time. But if you don't have the right behavioral skill, you won't' do well in testing. If someone has an innate quality of questioning around why something works the way it does & takes effort to go the extra mile to know the internals, that person would be a good tester. During interviews, I ask people about they find interesting in software testing. If I find someone not having the urge to 'break' something, then I don't hire that person.

The technology breadth aside, one needs to have the natural ability to question the very working of something and has the inclination to break that. If they don't then,  that person probably shouldn't choose testing as a career option. Because this churn brings in better quality in the product and sometimes the whole workflow could get redesigned.

Happy Testing...